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Life, Unbounded

Life, Unbounded

Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiology

Solstice, Periapsis, and the Hades Orbit

Solstice, Periapsis, and the Hades Orbit

The Sun rising above the Arctic plain (H. D. Nygren, NOAA Corps.) As our spinning globe of rock and metal tracks its steady path around the Sun, we find ourselves crossing once again through the winter solstice, the point at which Earth's northern pole is pointed as far from our fierce stellar parent as it can be (this year at a coordinated universal time of 5.30 am on December the 22nd, almost the same as 5.30 am Greenwich Mean Time).

December 21, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
A Planet on Fire

A Planet on Fire

A strange chemical reaction Imagine, if you will, a planet with atmosphere, oceans, rocks and life. On this planet, most chemical reactions are either slow and geophysical, or quick and biological but very localized.

December 14, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
You Can't Always Tell an Exoplanet by its Size

You Can't Always Tell an Exoplanet by its Size

Warning: Exoplanets may appear less massive than they really are (images used: Eysteinn Guðni Guðnason and NASA/Kepler) Exoplanets can be confusing things.

December 8, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Kepler 22-b: Another step closer to finding Earth-like worlds

Kepler 22-b: Another step closer to finding Earth-like worlds

Comparison of "habitable zone" of Kepler 22 system and our solar system (NASA/Kepler) Today sees the announcement that one of the "candidate" planets listed from NASA's Kepler mission back in February is now confirmed, and it's a key one.

December 5, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Exoplanets: I'll Stop the World and Melt With You

Exoplanets: I'll Stop the World and Melt With You

What lies beneath such turbulent skies? (NASA/JPL) Gas giant planets are among the most beautiful and awe-inspiring worlds. In our own solar system we've long gazed at Jupiter's extraordinary swirling atmosphere, where stormy circulations like the Great Red Spot persist for centuries.

December 2, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Curiosity Across the Stars

Curiosity Across the Stars

This is not a comet, it's Curiosity on its way to Mars This, I guarantee, is a view of NASA's Curiosity rover embarking on its 250 day trip to Mars that you may not have seen before.

November 28, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Long Hard Road to Mars

The Long Hard Road to Mars

Mars Pathfinder launches in 1996 Starting this Saturday, a 24 day window of opportunity opens for the launch of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, now also known as the Curiosity rover.

November 25, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
The Eight Limbed Aliens: Octopuses Are Out There

The Eight Limbed Aliens: Octopuses Are Out There

Greetings Earthling Ok, so this is really entirely for entertainment, and you should check out the excellent all-octopus-all-the-time blog Octopus Chronicles right here at Scientific American for genuine insight, but I couldn't resist posting this video that seems to be on its way to viral fame.

November 22, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Jovian Attraction

Jovian Attraction

Life, Unbounded is preparing a series of posts on exoplanets, one a day for five days - this planetary menagerie will contain some of the most fascinating, but unsung, "heroes" of exoplanetary science .

November 21, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf
Want to Go to the Stars? First You Must Stand With Science

Want to Go to the Stars? First You Must Stand With Science

Want to reach for the stars? Sometimes one gets a sinking feeling. Here we are on the cusp of so very many things in science, from finding other Earths, to understanding the extraordinary organisms right under our noses, and even detecting the fundamental particles that help build all that we see.

November 10, 2011 — Caleb A. Scharf

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